Staking SOL tokens with Solflare web wallet
This step-by-step guide will instruct you in the process of how you can create a Solana wallet and then stake your SOL token on the Solana blackjchain with the use of Solflare web app, but without a hardware wallet.
All the screenshots and values visible in this manual, in particular the accounts balances and mnemonic phrases are example data only, presented to show how the mechanisms work and as such they should not be taken into account in real applications.
1. Creating Solana wallet
Go to Solflare.com and click “ACCESS WEB WALLET” button. When the following screen appears, choose „Create a new wallet:. The next screen will then allow you to set a password as another layer of security added to your account. Whilst it is no compulsory, we highly recommend doing so.
The next step is MNEMONIC phrase. It is of EXTREME and VITAL importance. Make sure to store the mnemonic phase in a safe place as it is required to access your wallet as well as to perform any action on your account.
IMPORTANT! The mnemonic phrase is a critical data safeguarding your account. Copy it and keep it in a safe place, do not share it with anyone. Anyone who gets access to your mnemonic phrase will have full access to your wallet and will be able to withdraw as much as they like. Losing a mnemonic phrase will result in you losing access to your wallet and there is no possibility of mnemonic phrase recovery.
Once you finished writing down the mnemonic phrase in the correct order, click “I wrote down my mnemonic”. Next, fill in the blanks with the corresponding words and confirm by clicking „Verify”. To save some time, you can use option „copy to clipboard” and then paste whole phrase to the first field to fill all of them.
You are now on the portfolio menu of Solflare. Here you can find key information about your Wallet Account such as your wallet account address, your balance, as well as other accounts that are associated with your Wallet Account.
In order to perform any actions such as staking, you need to transfer some funds to your Wallet Account. Send some SOL tokens, e.g. from the exchange on which you bought them. Your address can be found in the top left corner of the screen. Click “Receive” to display your accounts’ QR code.
2. Creating & delegating your Stake Account
After successfully adding funds to your Wallet Account, you may proceed to create a Stake Account. There are two ways of doing this: either clock on „Stake Solana” in the main wallet screen or go to the top menu and click „Staking”.
Next choose the amount you want to stake. Then this amount chosen will be transferred into your Stake Account. Do not stake all your tokens. Make sure to leave small amount of SOLs in your Wallet Account in order to pay for transaction fees — this is really important!
Next step is to choose a validator from the drop-down menu. You can also search for specific validators by their name. Once you have chosen a validator, you are presented with some statistics about them. Click “Stake” and then “Confirm”.
Your Stake Account can be now found in the Solflare Staking Menu. Please note that your delegated SOL tokens will start earning rewards once the Warmup Period has concluded. This process usually takes one epoch (~2–3 days). Until this happens, your Stake Account will be marked with „Activating” status. The progress of the current epoch can always be checked on solanabeach.io.
What is important is the fact that you as a token-holder have the means to increase the overall security and therefore the overall value of the network. This can be achieved through enhancing decentralization by delegating your stakes to smaller validators. Should you wish to do it with success, you need to create more than one Stake Account and distribute your funds across these Stake Accounts. Remember to always make sure to leave some SOL tokens in your Wallet Account to pay for transaction fees.
Repeat the above process for every Stake Account you want to create and delegate. Click the “+ Create account” button in the Staking menu to start the process.
3. Managing stakes
At he beginning of each consecutive epoch the staking rewards are automatically accumulated and re-delegated on your Stake Account. In order to check your staking rewards, go to the „Staking” menu. Click on a Stake Account to see your rewards per epoch.
Delegating more SOL tokens
If you wish to increase the amount of SOL that you are delegating to a specific validator, it is recommended that you create another separate Stake Account which then you delegate to the selected validator. To do so, simply repeat the steps described in part 2 of this guide.
If you send SOL to a Stake Account that is already delegated, please note that the new funds are not automatically delegated. First you would need to undelegate the Stake Account, next delegate again in order to have the new funds delegated too. It is worth remembering that during the Cooldown or Warmup Period you will not earn any rewards.
Decreasing delegated amount or stopping delegation
If you want to undelegate the whole account, simply click on the respective Stake Account and hit “undelegate”.
Once the „undelegated” process has started, the respective Stake Account will have a new status assigned, namely „Deactivating”. For the time when your account is deactivating, your funds are illiquid. This is considered the Cool Down Period.
Once the Cooldown Period has ended (~2–3 days), the status of your Stake Account will change to „Inactive”. Then you can withdraw the undelegated funds from your Stake Account to your Wallet Account.
In order to do so, simply choose the respective Stake Account and click „Withdraw”. In the next window, you will be able to choose the amount of SOL tokens you want to withdraw.
If you wish to undelegate only part of your delegated SOL tokens, then first you need to split your Stake Account. Splitting your stake account will create another separate Stake Account that is delegated to the same validator as the Stake Account that it was split from.
Click on the chosen Stake Account and then choose „Split” In the next step choose the amount of SOL tokens you want to split into a new Stake Account and then confirm by clicking „Split” button.
You will now find a new, separate Stake Account that is delegated to the same validator as the Stake Account that it was split from. You can now undelegate the whole Stake Account by following the steps described in the previous paragraphs.
Warmup and Cooldown Periods
The Warmup and Cooldown period refer to the state of your Stake Account.
The Warmup Period describes the time between the moment you issue the delegation transaction and the moment that your Stake Account is fully delegated and starts to earn rewards. Between these two phases, your Stake Account is considered to be „activating”. The Cooldown Period describes the time between the moment you issue the undelegation transaction and the moment that your Stake Account is fully undelegated. Between these two points, your Stake Account is treated as „deactivating”, it does not earn rewards anymore and the funds are illiquid.
A change to the state of your Stake Account is only considered by the protocol at the beginning of an epoch. This means, that if you change the status of your Stake Account, you will have to wait until the new epoch starts for the change to come into effect. Since an epoch lasts ~2–3 days, you have to wait for the current epoch remaining time to pass in order for your changes to become effective – the exact duration of the remaining time depends on when you commenced the changes to the state of your Account.
There is a certain threshold of 25% of the total stake across the whole network that can change state in one epoch. In case this threshold is exceeded, you would have to wait for an additional epoch until the exceeding portion of your stake has successfully changed state.